Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Madagascar vignettes

Several people have been requesting pictures and updates regarding our trip to Madagascar.  So, if you are one of those people, this will probably be of interest to you.

Madagascar is an island off the eastern coast of Africa.  Although it is considered part of Africa, the people there come from an Indonesian background rather than an African background.  They culture has a lot of island culture mixed in with some African culture.

  • The average wage is $1 per day
  • The average age at death is 57
  • The climate is moderate (somewhat equivalent to Alexandria, Louisiana with less humidity)
  • There is no heat nor a/c in most homes and buildings. 
  • The concrete/brick/cinderblock structures make the homes terribly cold in winter, but more pleasant in summer
  • It is in the southern hemisphere, so their winters are our summers and our summers are their winters
  • The country has not been "westernized." There are no American restaurant or hotel chains.  
  • The country has a high Christian population, but is still bound by much "dark" religious tradition

The method of carrying loads on the head just mesmerizes me.  The very young to the very old do it.  It doesn't matter what it is.  They will find a way to put it on their heads and take off marching down the road!

Poverty looks and smells the same in every country...

Much of life revolves around the rice fields.  They bathe in them, wash their clothes in them, grow their food in them, and build their houses in the middle of them.

A good soccer game is fun regardless of the equipment or the field!

The scenes are filled with layers of stories.  Taking the produce to market...

...who needs a dryer? Just make sure you have a big back yard...

...headed home after a long, hard day that began before sunrise...

...a hard day that included making bricks from the mud from the rice fields...

...but at the end of the day, there is still beauty.

There is still color.

There are still flowers.

And at the end of the day, evidently the language of flowers is the same around the world.


  1. Thanks for sharing.
    Missed you both more this trip than ever...
    No idea why but who cares. :)
    Glad you are home.

    Joy C.

  2. Thanks for sharing!! It is always special for us to 'see' our beloved island through newcomers' eyes. :) Thanks again for visiting us!

    (Btw, those are pretty good pictures considering you had to take them from the backseat of a moving vehicle! :D)